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21st Sunday
What a strong message the Scriptures gives to us today! In the book of Joshua, we hear Joshua proclaiming his dedication to follow God:  as for me and my househould, we will serve the Lord (ch. 24).  And the people moved by his testimony, also recalled the many blessings God gave them and said: we will also serve the Lord!
The gospel today, John 6, describes how people listening to Jesus soon reacts to his words. They are now divided. Some say, “This saying is hard. How can anyone accept it?”  As a result, many from his audience retraced their former way of life and abandoned the Lord.
Jesus turns to his disciples and asks:  Do you also want to leave? Peter speaks for the apostles:  Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.  We have come to believe and we are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.  The faith of Joshua and the faith of Peter challenge us today!
What is happening to the faith of many Catholics?  We are going through a deep crisis of faith, surrounded by temptations of the senses and errors of the mind. Yes, our hearts pine for God but our minds and bodies search for that which is practical and easy.  That is why sociologists say that Filipino Catholics live a split-level Christianity. 
Sunday worship is different from weekday business.  Prayer is not connected to decisions.  Principles do not flow into consistent actions. Faith is no longer whole; it is divided.  We will serve the Lord but… We will follow God up to… We say: “We will serve the Lord,” but we mean: “We want the Lord to conform to us”.
This starts with indifference, then grows into unbelief.  Catholics abandon Sunday Mass. We also have parents who do not believe in their children’s Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion; couples who go to Mass and but avoid to have a Christian Marriage; priests who just live as professional Christians; mass-goers who attend merely out of tradition or requirement; parishioners lackluster in their community involvement; Catholics who listen to politicians more than to God when it comes to public policies like RH bill.
How do we really follow the Lord?  Joshua looked at his experience, Peter did the same, and they concluded that only God is worth their whole hearts because God is the source of blessing, protection, meaning and life.  There is only one thing left to do, be faithful to this God who loves you!
Jesus invites us to examine our faith in him.  Are we committed to him partially or totally?  Are we faithful some times or all the time?  Do we follow him according to his terms or based on our own reasoning?  May we be bold like Joshua and Peter, in declaring our allegiance to the Lord!